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South Korean military: North Korea fires multiple unidentified projectiles

South Korean military: North Korea fires multiple unidentified projectiles”

In 2017, Trump and Kim exchanged crude insults and threats of destruction as Kim was orchestrating a series of high-profile nuclear and missile tests as part his efforts to achieve his stated goal of acquiring nuclear missiles capable of reaching the continental U.S.

North Korea warned earlier this month that Kim said that upcoming South Korea-US military drills risked jeopardising those negotiations.

Last week's missiles are thought to have been the North's version of Russia's Iskander, a short-range, ground-to-ground ballistic missile known as KN-23, which it test-fired in May.

Both Trump and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo played down last week's launches and Pompeo has continued to express hope for a diplomatic way forward with North Korea.

After the previous missile tests on July 25, the official Korean Central News Agency said Kim oversaw the "power demonstration fire" of a new type of tactical guided weapon on Thursday "to send a solemn warning" to his rivals in South Korea.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff told South Korea's Yonhap News Agency: "Our military is monitoring the situation in case of additional launches and maintaining a readiness posture". A North Korean version could likely reach all of South Korea - and the 28,500 USA forces stationed there - and would be extremely hard to intercept.

That firing of the two projectiles was the first missile test since Kim Jong-un, the North Korean leader, met President Donald Trump on June 30, and agreed to revive denuclearisation talks. Mr. Trump told Fox News last week that he is "getting along well" with Kim and the country "really haven't tested missiles other than smaller ones".

The launches from North Korea's Hodo Peninsula began shortly after 5 a.m. Wednesday, South Korea's military said. But Trump - who has repeatedly touted his relationship with Kim, whose regime is widely accused of human rights abuses - brushed off the North's bellicose language, saying it was warning Seoul rather than Washington.

Pompeo was due to meet the foreign ministers of Japan and South Korea separately and then in a three-way discussion on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Regional Forum in Bangkok, Thailand. Past sanctions were imposed only when the North conducted long-range ballistic launches.

Although a ballistic missile test is a violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions, and the missiles are created to threaten South Korea, President Trump played down the significance of last week's test, saying many countries test short-range missiles.

Other analysts have said that North Korea will have been emboldened to press more aggressively for US concessions by Trump's apparent eagerness to hold up his engagement with North Korea as a foreign policy success ahead of his 2020 reelection bid.



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